by Samuel Narh & Freda Narh
Illustrations by Alisa Knatko
Milko misses his mother. She has been living in Ethiopia for a year. Each turn of the season reminds him of his mother.
Walk into Milko’s world and see how this story unfolds from the hills in Bolivia to the Mountains in Ethiopia.
Milko is a story that every family can relate to, because it is a story about all of us.
About the Authors
Samuel Narh is an award-winning children’s book author. He enjoys painting pictures with words using his stories, which are meant to touch and reach people across the world.
Freda Narh enjoys collecting children’s books. She was born and raised in Mississippi, and she is a graduate of Ole Miss. She loves being a mom to Merrit. She is also known as the Baby Whisperer, because of her love and magical ways with babies.
Alisa Knatko is an illustrator from Moscow. She has illustrated eleven books. Some of her books have been exhibited at international book fairs. Alisa uses mixed media techniques in her illustrations.
This tender picture book by a husband-and-wife team begins as a Bolivian boy named Milko confides that he “misses Mama like leaves long for the rain this dry season.” Without her, he observes over the next few pages, home is unsettled: Milko’s younger sister cries inconsolably; Papa’s porridge boils over on the stove; and unlike Mama, Papa “is terrible at haggling with the fishmongers” in the market. Mama, it turns out, left Bolivia for Ethiopia at the beginning of the rainy season for a yearlong trip. (The reasons for her journey and its duration are not explained.) Milko has marked off 365 days since she left. Why hasn’t she returned? Not to worry. Mama and her “laughter as deep as the forest” bring the Narhs’ story to a sweet, soulful conclusion—although one that may require parents to explain the meaning of a leap year. (Two books among many that offer children more prosaic ways to cope with absent parents are The Invisible String by Patrice Karst, 2000; and Lily Hates Goodbyes by Jerilyn Marler, 2012.) Artist Knatko’s beautiful watercolor illustrations complement the text with evocative imagery and lush swaths of colors and patterns. Milko is portrayed with light brown skin and a riot of blondish curls.
A poignant, visually rich depiction of a child awaiting the return of a parent.
Release Date: 01/09/2023